Fleet News

Experts assess ECOs future...

TAX officials are likely to allow ECO schemes to continue in their present form after a series of meetings with fleet industry experts.

Speaking at the Future of Fleet seminar run by GE Fleet Services this month, Alastair Kendrick, partner at chartered accountants Wilder Coe, said: ‘HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is now coming towards the end of its consultation about employee car ownership schemes.

‘There is every indication that it will continue to be a viable product that has a valuable role in the market place. One of the key concerns of HMRC was that ECO schemes were not environmentally friendly. They have found that this is not the case.’

An HMRC spokesman said: ‘A series of meetings was held with a variety of interested parties during June. We are currently considering the information we were provided with during the course of those meetings with a view to reporting progress at pre-budget report in due course.’

One factor influencing their decision will be results of a survey that suggest cost savings and offering employees better benefits were the main reasons why companies opted for employee car ownership schemes.

The research was carried out by Provecta Car Plan, whose chairman Nick Sutton said: ‘It is rare to find a business scenario where improved benefits also save money in such a clearly defined way.

‘However, we know from our consultations with clients that cost savings and flexible benefits are the main reasons companies consider switching to ECO.

‘Our survey has confirmed this and shows the final decision to introduce ECO is based on a complex mix of factors, depending on each client’s own fleet profile and stated objectives.’

The results of the survey formed part of Provecta’s submission to HMRC as part of its series of meetings with interested parties.

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